|Spelman College Tops US News & World Report HBCU Rankings|
|Black Society News|
|Monday, 01 October 2007 07:18|
The list was topped by UNCF member Spelman College in Atlanta. The magazine also selected UNCF colleges for the fourth through tenth positions in the rankings. UNCF colleges and universities were also picked for the 16th , 20th, 22th, 23th, 26th and 34th positions in the US News ratings. In all, 14 of the 36 colleges on the list are UNCF member institutions.
""The high ranking of these UNCF member colleges validates for a national audience what the statistics have long proven,"" said Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of UNCF whose motto, ""A mind is a terrible thing to waste,"" is one of the nation's best-known sayings. ""UNCF's small, private colleges can compete with colleges and universities across the country in their ability to give tomorrow's leaders the education they need to succeed.""
HBCUs represent just 3 percent of the nation's more than 4,000 colleges and universities, but 24 percent of all African American college students started college at HBCUs, according to the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and HBCUs award 24 percent of the undergraduate degrees earned by African Americans.
UNCF colleges have had to meet severe challenges to earn their high rankings, Lomax said. Two, Xavier University (ranked 8th) and Dillard University (9th) are located in New Orleans and were forced to close temporarily by Hurricane Katrina. UNCF member Tougaloo College (20th) located outside Jackson, Miss., sustained wind damage from the hurricane. And none of them, said Lomax, have the large endowments that better financed colleges can draw on in times of trouble. Further, the rankings
are an indicator that quality is not defined by finances alone. Only two of the 14 UNCF schools in the top 36 have endowments over $100 million.
The fact that US News has issued these rankings of black colleges, Lomax added, is in itself a testament to what HBCUs are accomplishing. Students and parents who are researching quality information about colleges and universities will truly benefit from this landmark ranking.
While the country's HBCUs share a history and a mission, Lomax pointed out, they have always maintained their separate and unique identities, offering different academic programs, different student body sizes, and different kinds of settings. ""It's time that these colleges and universities stopped being the best-kept secrets in American higher education. The 60,000 students who attend UNCF colleges know what these colleges offer, and so do the 350,000 Americans who have graduated from them,"" he said. ""Now, thanks to US News, the rest of the country will know too."""